There’s no doubt that building a family can be a heart-wrenching and difficult road, no matter how you go about it. For April and Justin Carter, their journey to parenthood started out on a wrenching note — but has now become their dream come true.
The Carters were overjoyed to discover that they were expecting their first child. They were even more excited when they found out that the baby was a girl. They eagerly planned for her arrival and already had a name picked out for her: Kinley Mae.
Tragically, Kinley was only with them for a short time.
After a host of health problems in utero, Kinley was born several weeks early. The Carters knew that she had a chromosomal disorder. This was confirmed when she was three days old in a diagnosis of Trisomy 18. Her parents treasured every moment of her time with them.
“In her 10 days of life she brought us immeasurable joy,” wrote April Carter. “She taught us that joy and grief can exist at the same time.”
It was more than a year after Kinley’s death that the Carters started to think about the idea of fostering children.
They were aware that there are hundreds of thousands of children in the United States in need of foster families.
The day after they received their license, they were placed with their first foster child, a baby girl. She was six weeks old and recovering in the NICU. The Carters were resigned to the fact that they might not be her parents for long, but they intended to love her every second they had her.
“We fell head over heels in love with Baby A,” wrote April Carter. “She was so sweet and beautiful. Our love for her was no different than our love for Kinley Mae. We were in awe of this little bundle that God was entrusting us with for however much time he had planned.”
But the Carters also knew that being foster parents meant preparing for volatile and even heartbreaking situations.
To their sadness, Baby A’s biological mother signed her parental rights over to one of her friends, which meant that she would be leaving their care. But they bravely continued and already had another placement. And then another. And another.
Their daughter Chloe was placed with them through some coordinated effort. When the Carters found out that she needed a home, they did everything they could to become her foster parents. Why? For the simple reason that her biological brother was already part of their family — their nephew, fostered by April Carter’s brother.
But after losing Kinley and Baby A, the Carters didn’t think they could handle another baby.
However, when they got a call about a 16-day-old infant girl, their plans changed.
“We had 5 minutes to decide if we would take the placement of Baby K before they looked for another family. In those 5 minutes we came up with so many reasons to say no,” wrote April Carter. “BUT, in those 5 minutes our hearts were heavy and we heard God reminding us that this sweet baby needed attachment more than we needed to be protected from it. We said ‘yes,’ and by 5 o’clock, Chloe was meeting her little sister, Baby K.”
And the adventure didn’t stop there.
Soon, the Carters received yet another placement: a two-year-old girl. Before they knew it, they were the parents to three girls under the age of three.
But the best thing of all finally happened on Feb. 14, 2019 when they officially adopted Chloe.
“Then the judge looked at my husband and I and said, ‘Thank you for taking in a child in need,’” wrote April Carter. “Without missing a beat, my husband replied, ‘We needed her more,’ bringing me to tears.”
Now, the Carters are working on finalizing the adoption of their oldest daughter as well. They are overjoyed to be a family.
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Source: Love What Matters